For many of us meat's long been an essential item on the shopping list. Now it's fast becoming a luxury.
Taking a trip to a supermarket's meat section will send your wallet in a tailspin.
So why are we paying too much? There may be several reasons. With the drought a lot of our meat is going into live export.
While it's a lot more low key to avoid the scrutiny of animal cruelty activists the live export trade is booming like never before and it's driving the price of lamb through the roof here.
Wholesale butcher Rob Robinson tells us, "it's about supply and demand. If we don't have enough, the price goes up. We are sending meat overseas so we haven't got enough to supply the local market. Beef is going to Indonesia. Sheep and lamb to Arabic countries."
Rob runs Fleurieu Fresh, a group of four Adelaide wholesale butcher shops. He predicts meat is not only going to get even more expensive it's also going to be in short supply as the world faces a food shortage crisis.
Many countries are putting a ban on exports of food, some stopping the export of meat to stock their own domestic markets.
There is some good news, as we are about to show you with a list of eight cuts of meat. You can save a huge amount of money from wholesalers like Rob Robinson when compared with supermarket prices.
And you can never be sure how long that meat has been in those sealed plastic packs because supermarkets also use clever tricks to make it look fresh.
"Many big supermarkets gas flush for extended life, to get 30 to 60 days life-span. We don't do that. We process all our meat within 48 hours," says Rob.
They can even fool us with ham. "When you buy Australian ham it has to have boned from top to bottom. What they were doing getting a hot bone, sticking it in a mould, wrapping it up with Aussie skin, putting imported and local meat into it and calling it 100% Australian and you wouldn't even know," says pig farmer Dimitri.
Brothers Dimitri and John Pounedis are pig farmers north of Adelaide. Their industry is under serious threat because of a flood of cheap imported pork meat products. "We're finding it harder and harder every year, imports are near 80% saturation now. Every time you go to a supermarket, most ham and bacon with no bone would have to be imported," explains Dimitri.
"We get the equivalent of $4 a kilo for de-boned pork and we have to match. It's just not possible.
So when you see that virginian ham on special, the chances are it's not true blue Aussie, and get set for another surprise. If you buy quality virginian ham you pay a high price for it. There's little added water but a cheap cut at $10 or $12 dollars a kilo, there could be 30% water in that meat," continued John.
The process, known as moisture infused, adds more weight to the meat meaning more profit.
"So how can you tell?" "Hold a thin slice in the sunlight. If you can see through it you know it's water�a large percentage," explains John.
The Pounedis brothers want much tougher labelling laws on packaging so consumers know exactly what they're getting.
Here's our shopping list of 8 items:
Lamb loin chops
Chicken (whole large)
At Rob Robinson's wholesale shop, the bill totalled $60 dollars and eighty eight cents�great value.
Fleurieu Fresh - price per kg
Pork chops $ 3.99
Rump $ 5.99
T-Bone $ 9.99
Lamb leg $ 8.99
Lamb loin chops $11.99
Beef mince $10.95
BBQ sausages $ 3.99
Chicken (lge) $ 4.99
The same items bought at Woolworths cost us ninety five dollars and fifty eight cents, that's almost 58 per cent more.
Pork chops $ 8.49
Lamb leg $10.99
Lamb loin chops $14.95
Beef mince $ 9.95
BBQ sausages $ 3.27
Chicken (lge) $ 9.99
But they were even more expensive at Coles... one hundred and ten dollars and thirty eight cents� a colossal 67 per cent more than Rob's prices.
Pork chops $ 7.49
Lamb leg $ 7.49
Lamb loin chops $24.99
Beef mince $ 7.45
BBQ sausages $ 3.99
Chicken (lge) $ 9.99
Fleurieu Fresh have four outlets.
6 Commercial Street, Marleston
Phone: 8293 8366
Glynburn Plaza � 151-163 Glynburn Rd, Firle
Phone: 8332 3928
Christies Beach - 101 Beach Road
Phone: 8326 6993
Edwardstown - 56-58 Daws Road
Phone: 8357 5500